More aggressive screening and advanced treatment options have reduced mortality rates associated with colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women in the United States. You can help by sharing this article, getting involved, and raising awareness about the benefits of colon screening.

Screening is recommended for adults starting at age 45. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people over the age of 50, and the risk continues to increase with age.

“Colorectal cancer does not always show symptoms. You may have precancerous polyps or colorectal cancer without knowing it,” he said. Dr. Amit K. Agarwalassociate professor of surgery in the McGovern School of Medicine at UT Health Houston and a UT Physician colon and rectal surgeon.

Other risk factors may also increase the likelihood of colorectal cancer.

“If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, your risk is much higher,” Agarwal says. “Lifestyle factors such as excessive consumption of processed meat, low physical activity, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption also influence risk.”

Eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake can improve your overall health and lifestyle and lower your risk of colorectal cancer.

signs and symptoms

If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms, please proactively consult your doctor.

  • Changes in bowel movements — Constipation, diarrhea, or reduction in stool size
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort — Cramps, bloating, gas, or feeling full
  • rectal bleeding — Stools may appear bloody or dark red
  • weakness or fatigue — Unexplained weight loss, vomiting, and nausea

These symptoms can overlap with other gastrointestinal diseases, so screening and early detection are essential.

screening options

Although there is no single best option for screening for polyps and colorectal cancer, there are several options available.

“Screening options such as stool tests, colonoscopies, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and computed tomography (CT) colonography have advantages and disadvantages. Ask your doctor which one is right for you. please,” Mr. Agarwal said.

Treatment options for colorectal cancer

Treatments range from surgery to chemotherapy. Treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer and its location.

“Surgery is often the choice for early diagnosis, while chemotherapy is usually the choice at later stages,” Agarwal said. “The more complex the cancer, the more sophisticated the cancer treatment needs to be.”

It is important to discuss all treatment options, including possible side effects, with your doctor to make the decision that best suits your needs.

Mortality rates from colorectal cancer have declined in both men and women over recent decades. This is thought to be due to advances in colorectal cancer treatment as well as early detection through screening.

To find out more about our Colon and Rectal team, please visit our dedicated site. This is a page dedicated to the colon and rectum.

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